The US has a Russian Problem, but it is Worse in the UK

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Remember the polonium death in Britain? There was a chilling documentary about it. The case still rolls on.

The United Kingdom has frozen the assets of two Russians accused of carrying out the 2006 killing in London of former Federal Security Service officer Aleksandr Litvinenko.

London on January 22 issued the order to freeze the assets of Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun under the terms of the Antiterrorism, Crime, and Security Act of 2001.

On January 21, Judge Robert Owen, who chaired the British government inquiry into the Litvinenko killing, said he was certain Lugovoi and Kovtun killed Litvinenko by placing a lethal dose of polonium 210 in his tea during a meeting on November 1, 2006.

Litvinenko, who was an outspoken critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, died several days later.

Both men deny any involvement in Litvinenko’s death. However, British investigators found traces of polonium 210 in hotels, restaurants, and aircraft used by Lugovoi. Lugovoi was reportedly treated for radiation poisoning in Moscow in December 2006.

Lugovoi, a former Soviet KGB agent, was elected a member of the Russian State Duma in 2007. Putin awarded him a state medal “for services to the motherland” in 2015. Hat tip.

Meanwhile, we have the case of Andrey Borodin that lives in Britain and he is a wanted man by none other than Vladimir Putin.

Mr Borodin, who is sought by Moscow on fraud and corruption charges, which he strongly denies, and who was granted asylum in February, told The Independent: “Given that my successful application for asylum in the UK included all details of the Russian criminal investigations and argued that they are politically motivated, I now believe that the Russian authorities are via the media trying to lend credibility to their claims by referring to the Swiss investigation.”

He added: “My lawyers are engaging with the Swiss authorities and I am confident that a satisfactory conclusion will be reached in the not too distant future.”

It emerged in April that Mr Borodin was the target of a potential assassination plot involving a hitman who claimed to have been approached by Chechen political figures and offered as much as £600,000 to kill him in Britain.

The banker, who is a close ally of the former mayor of Moscow Yury Luzhkov, arrived in Britain in March 2011 after a warning that, following years of lucrative success negotiating Moscow’s treacherous nexus of business and politics, his star was on the wane.

The details of the assassination plot, brought to the attention of MI5 after the hitman pulled out of the deal, were considered to be credible. More chilling details to the story here.

So, why do should we care? Perhaps the pressure of nefarious Russian plots and history would explain much of the goings-on in the U.S. political architecture…right? Russia, Russia, Russia….everywhere.

Yes…it seems that Andrey Borodin has hired a U.S. lobby firm, BGR Government Affairs to represent him. The filing form is here. Apparently at issue is a visa problem and well the case is assigned to  Haley Barbour, former Mississippi governor and Republican National Committee chair, and Maya Seiden, a former State Department aide under Secretary Hillary Clinton.

Related reading: Russia posing most complex challenge since Cold War: UK army chief 

In another meanwhile, after the unchallenged Hillary Clinton scandal of Skolkovo and Silicon Valley, there is yet another operation underway.

(Reuters) – Masha Drokova, a 28-year-old Russian political activist turned venture capitalist, on Tuesday joined a small family of Russian nationals who have set up shop as Silicon Valley venture investors.

Drokova’s new firm, Day One Ventures, will make investments of $100,000 to $1 million from a fund that initially totals nearly $50 million, a person familiar with the matter said. Drokova hopes her experience as an angel investor and a prior career in public relations will give her edge.

“Masha knows a lot of people,” said Serguei Beloussov, a senior investing partner at venture firm Runa Capital and who worked with Drokova until 2014. “She is good in that she gets access to very good startups.”

Drokova’s new fund comes as relations between the United States and Russia remain fraught and foreign investments of all types into U.S. technology companies receive more scrutiny.

She is following the lead of several other Russian investors who say that being based in the United States – and raising money from wealthy individuals rather than institutions – helps them get better access to startups and curtails concerns about the source of their money, even if some of it still comes from Russia.

Close to 20 percent of Runa Capital’s $135 million fund comes from wealthy Russian individuals, said Beloussov, who is Russian-born but now a Singapore citizen. Silicon Valley firm GVA Capital, managed by Russian native Pavel Cherkashin, has raised money from individuals in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Georgia.

“There is a growing number of funds like us – Russian-speaking fund managers in the U.S. but sourcing checks from Russia and the former Soviet Union,” said Cherkashin. “That trend is growing.”

Cherkashin estimates startup investments from U.S.-based fund managers who raise capital from Russia has more than tripled over the last three years. This would include a 2016 investment in Uber by FortRoss Ventures, which has an office in Silicon Valley and whose funds come mostly from Russian investors, including state-owned Sberbank.

Drokova said her fund comes from individual entrepreneurs in the United States and Europe.

Drokova spent five years as a leader of a Kremlin-backed youth political movement in Russia called Nashi before moving to the United States at age 23. She now describes her political views as “liberal” and says she is no longer involved in Russian politics.

Drokova said her nationality and political work have not yet posed any challenges in her new career. But other Russians who have venture firms in Silicon Valley say they still run into obstacles, including extra scrutiny when they try to open U.S. bank accounts.

Sergey Gribov of Flint Capital, a venture firm whose partners are Russian-born but does not raise money in Russia, said he discloses all the details of his funding sources to head off suspicions.

“From time to time it comes up,” he said. “I would say it helps to be transparent.”


If Globalism Is The Ultimate Economic Philosophy, Why Is Global Growth Surging With The Return Of Economic Nationalism?

By: Kent Engelke | Capitol Securities

The government shutdown lasted three days. The markets are now awaiting the approximate 80 earnings reports that are released this week. The dollar fell again and the 10-year Treasury is now trading at the highest yield since July 2014. Oil inched higher after OPEC and Russia said output cuts will continue until the end of year, vowing “cooperation” during 2019.

There are other events that could be of some significance this week including several central bank policy statements (ECB and the BOJ) as well as President Trump’s trip to Davos, the first US president to attend since President Clinton. The Davos conference is regarded as the epitome of globalism and interdependency, the inverse of the economic nationalism the President has espoused. He speaks on Friday.

Speaking of economic nationalism, the US and Britain, and to a lesser extent Italy and the Nordic states, have adopted this millennium-old philosophy versus globalism and multi-polarity. The global economies are the strongest since 2007. If globalism and strong government spending is indeed the pathway to societal riches and robust economic growth, why did global growth not boom during the last seven years? Why is the world in the midst of a tectonic change?

What will happen today?

Markets should open marginally lower even as the BOJ signaled that it was not yet in a position to consider exiting its current monetary policy as its Board voted to maintain its current asset purchase program. Oil is again higher and the 10-year is marginally lower in yield predicated upon the BOJ’s statement.

Last night the foreign markets were up. London was up 0.31%, Paris was down 0.06% and Frankfurt was up 0.60%. China was up 1.29%, Japan was up 1.29% and Hang Sang was up 1.66%


WATCH: Trevor Loudon Confronts Socialist Ed Balls At #SCTeaParty18 (Video)

By: Renee Nal | New Zeal

Trevor Loudon and Greg Cummings confront Socialist Ed Balls at South Carolina Tea Party Convention

British Fabian Socialist leader and former British Labour Party Shadow Councillor for Education Ed Balls is working on a BBC documentary about America under President Trump. Balls will presumably be putting a negative spin on Americans, particularly American conservatives. The Fabian Society “is a British socialist organisation whose purpose is to advance the principles of democratic socialism via gradualist and reformist effort in democracies, rather than by revolutionary overthrow.”

Their Coat of Arms is literally a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Ed Balls addressing Fabian Society in 2012

Fabian Society Coat of Arms via Wikipedia Commons

On the last day of this weekend’s South Carolina Tea Party Convention held in Myrtle Beach, Balls managed to get himself on stage where he lectured to the Tea Party crowd about his country’s perception of the political division in America. He claimed that the British are “concerned” that President Trump may do something “macho” like provoking a war with North Korea. Expressing his hope for “unity,” Balls also expressed that our friends across the pond are very worried about political polarization in America.

Before he and his film crew left after Ball’s impromptu speech, Trevor Loudon and Greg Cummings, Vice President, US First Defense Coalition engaged in a gentlemanly, but heated discussion with Ed Balls about the United States Constitution, Islam, and the very real difference between a “Democracy” and a “Constitutional Republic.”

Watch the conversation here:

Watch Trevor Loudon’s speech at the convention here:

Watch Greg Cumming’s speech at the convention here:

Visit the South Carolina Tea Party website HERE!



WATCH: Vile #antifa thugs meet their match – Bill Becker of Freedom X with Katrina Redelsheimer FIGHT BACK (Graphic Video)

By: Renee Nal | New Zeal

Screenshot from brutal Antifa attack on innocent girl

Bill Becker, founder, president and chief counsel of the pro-liberty law firm Freedom X will be featured Monday, January 22 on Fox & Friends on the Fox News Channel with Katrina Redelsheimer, one of the innocent victims assaulted by vile Antifa thugs for daring to support Milo Yiannopoulos in February 2017 during the so-called “Battle of Berkeley.”

Freedom X has “filed a federal civil rights lawsuit in United States District Court in San Francisco against the university, the City of Berkeley and other defendants, including two individuals believed to have been members of radical leftwing anarchist groups,” according to a press release.


In a video that is sincerely painful to watch, Katrina is brutally and repeatedly punched as she is trapped against a barrier fence. Another video shows a man beat by a vile mob until he lay unconscious. Even as he lay there helpless, the communist-allied anarchists continued to beat him.

Bill Becker of Freedom X is representing four victims of the attack as explained in a press release:

Attorneys for four injured victims of last February’s riot at the University of California, Berkeley, have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit in United States District Court in San Francisco against the university, the City of Berkeley and other defendants, including two individuals believed to have been members of radical leftwing anarchist groups.

The lawsuit, Jennings vs. The Regents of the University of California, Case No. 18-0268 (USDC-CA ND), alleges the Plaintiffs were attacked by demonstrators the evening of February 1, 2017, after campus police left them trapped inside Sproul Plaza outside the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Center. The Plaintiffs, who were not students at the time, had purchased tickets to attend an appearance by controversial political commentator Milo Yiannopolous at UC Berkeley’s Pauley Ballroom. Two of the Plaintiffs were beaten unconscious by black-clad, masked anarchists. One of them was beaten as he tried to flee a melee that broke out along Bancroft Way adjacent to the campus.

Protesters  threw rocks and set fires during the demonstration, leading to the cancellation of his 8 p.m. show. Police failed to adequately plan for the expected violent demonstration, which caused $100,000 in property damage.



Watch Trevor Loudon’s film: America Under Siege: Antifa



You Are A Victim of Social Media

By: Denise Simon | Political Vanguard

Do you go on Facebook?  Twitter.  How about Reddit?  If you do, you have been victimized and its likely getting worse by the day.

We all know about the big social media platforms: Facebook and Twitter. But there are many others nationally and internationally. Second tier social media platforms include Instagram, Reddit and 4Chan and more are coming from within the United States and beyond its borders.

Much has been written about Facebook and Twitter when it comes to spreading “fake news.”  That, however, is only part of what should concern you each time you click online.  Other major considerations that affect what we see online include the use of such platforms by terrorists and by influence operations.  Sometimes the lines between them are blurred.  For instance, “Active Measures” is a Russian long-game operation, that seek to influence world events through fake news.

So what is being done about these active risks?

First, all social media tech companies work in some form or fashion with the Federal government and law enforcement on cases in various forms.  Internally, Facebook currently has 10,000 employees assigned to a department dedicated to combatting terrorist’s usage and fake news. Given the swelling of both issues, Facebook is forecasting a department increase of up to 20,000 employees.

There are two things Facebook is doing that are of some real concern. Facebook outsources social media scoring based on your activity on the site, grading and cultivating those ‘likes’, ‘shares’ and comments. That outsourced company is called Crowd Tangle. That data is shared with other social media platforms as well as media. Further, Facebook has an interesting division in building 8 where their artificial intelligence resides such that technology is routine by machines and human intelligence is dismissed for the sake of mere data to control user thinking, reaction and behavior.

Twitter, for its part, estimates that 5% of its 300 million accounts are fake. Twitter has some internal oversight of those accounts but the company relies mainly on automation and outsourcing as a solution to those problems.

For both companies, it is said as fast as they address an account, block it or terminate it, bots, trolls or the users create new accounts within minutes to replace blocked accounts.

The answer to the question of how susceptible or vulnerable have you been to all of this is impossible to answer.

Remember when we questioned the integrity of voting? Remember when we questioned what company owned voting machines? Remember when we question who was allowed to vote and who was bussed in to vote? Who counted those votes?

All those issues were manifested and exploited by global bad actors.

When the National Football League kneeling scandal hit, accounts, articles and comments increased in huge numbers – and all of that was exploited by external propaganda operations if not created by them. The same was true during the Roy Moore election.

Then there was the Federal Communications Commission vote to roll back the Obama era net neutrality regulations. There were over 21 million comments on this rule change. Really? Ah, but of that 21 million, it is estimated that half were fake comments.

Exactly who determined that and who is investigating that?

Well, Eric Schneiderman, the New York Attorney General has the case and he was crowd-sourcing in an attempt to determine what was real and what was not. Really? Yes and the FCC is not releasing evidence.

So, are things more perilous on the web these days or are they getting better. Sadly, no one can say for sure. Get on the Internet at your own peril these days.

All of that bring us to U.S. Senate Bill 1989.

It is titled ‘Honest Ads Act.’ It sounds great but this proposed legislation has issues and does not cover all the fault lines in the social media realm. The bill does, however, reveal that some members of Congress are quite aware of fake news, fake accounts, and bad actors.  It also shows an awareness of the continued vulnerability of users and that all of this presents a challenge to our political discourse if not our form of government.

Beyond that, there is no cyber policy to punish external active measure operations and not all blame goes to Russia.  Don’t forget the Sony hack or the WannaCry malware that struck 74 countries. The Chinese have robust hacking operations and Iran is increasing its abilities.

In summary, think twice when clicking ‘like’, ‘share’ or commenting. Don’t be sucked in by merely reading the headlines. You hardly know the whole story or context as critical thinking, inspection as well as trustworthiness must be applied.

None of this will go away any time soon and with the midterm elections as well as the general election moving closer, more user exploitation is expected since the United States has no clear legislative policy, rules or regulations on how to deal with the problem.

Discourse and interaction is a wilderness and compounded with social justice warriors and political correctness conflicts. So, prepare yourself accordingly in the wild west of the Internet.